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Motoring News

2021 MERCEDES-BENZ E300 COUPE

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2021 MERCEDES-BENZ E300 COUPE
AMG Line body-enhancement pack on the E300 Coupe adds sporting flair.

2021 MERCEDES-BENZ E300 COUPE

By EWAN KENNEDY

AMG Line body-enhancement pack on the E300 Coupe adds sporting flair.

For the 2021 season the Mercedes E-Class Coupe has had a solid overhaul with an emphasis on sporting look and upgrades in many departments.

For a start it has the AMG Line body-enhancement pack that was once an option is now standard in all variants.

Meaning that you get the looks of a sporting coupe but can opt for the Comfort settings if that’s more your style of things.

2021 MERCEDES-BENZ E300 STYLING
Mercedes E-Class Coupe is a long handsome machine that gained some envious looks on several occasions during our week’s road test.

As well as the AMG grille there’s a new headlight design, widened wheel arches a larger front splitter. The rear has a split taillight design. There’s what looks like diffuser in the tail though we’re not sure it actually acts as aero aid. Perhaps it would nail down the rear if we were cruising in Germany at 180 plus km/h, though…

INTERIOR
It has genuine high-quality leather that we have praised in all topline models of all the prestigious German company’s topline models for many years of road testing them.

There’s a redesigned flat-bottom steering wheel looks good and provides a little more belly-room for owners who aren’t as slim as they once were.

The rear seats are for two occupants only and there is good leg- and elbow-room because there’s no need to squeeze a third seat in there. The rear seats fold in 40:20:40 to give a choice of human/cargo room.

INFOTAINMENT
A 12.3-inch infotainment screen is operated by a touchpad on the centre console and isn’t the easiest to use. Calling out “Hey Mercedes” makes life simpler as it responds to voice commands – I’ve seldom had any problems getting the system to work, though others I’ve spoken others who don’t have much joy. It can also be controlled by capacitive pads on the steering wheel.

The very-wide instrument/infotainment layout didn’t appeal to me when I first used it in other Mercs, but I’ve grown to like it.

The Mercedes MBUX native satellite navigation system worked well there are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

Connectivity is provided by multiple USB-C points at the front and rear.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
Power comes from four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo-petrol that provides 190kW (out that’s only there between 5800 and 6100rpm. That’s well balanced out by it having 370Nm all the way from 1800 to 4000rpm. The nine-speed automatic drives the rear wheels.

2021 MERCEDES-BENZ E300 SAFETY
Mercedes has been working on car safety since the early 1940s and continues to be one of the leaders in the field. It has nine airbags and has high five-star ratings.

To avoid the need to use the nine (yes, nine!) airbags the E300 Coupe has active brake assist with cross-traffic detection, lane-change and blind-spot assist. Should the driver not be paying attention to the road steering assist will nudge the car back onto line.

DRIVING
The front seats are well-shaped and comfortable and support well without being too aggressive, after all this is a touring car not a sports machine.

Getting into the rear seats isn’t always easy as this is a large car with big doors and you’re sometimes pretty close to cars alongside in tight parking spots. Once you’re in there they are nice and comfortable as they are tailored for two.

Drive modes range from Comfort to Sport and Sport+. And there is an Individual mode to let you choose your own settings).

Sport and Sport+ sharpen up throttle response and keeps the engine in lower gears for longer before automatically changing up. It also reduces some of the steering wheel assist to give the driver added feedback.

The adaptive air suspension gives the feeling of being on a magic carpet in its softest setting.

Mercedes claims a combined fuel consumption of 8.0 litres per hundred kilometres. We typically used about nine to eleven litres around town and it was easy to get it under eight litres per hundred on motorways and easy country running.

SUMMING UP
Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupe is a pleasant car for day-to-day driving as well as long country trips or weekends away. Though it can be used by four, somehow we feel it’s best used for two as luxurious personal transportation.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
E 200 Coupe: $103,700
E 300 Coupe: $117,400
E 350 Coupe: $128,200
AMG E 53 Coupe: $164,800

Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupe 2.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.991 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 190 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 370 Nm @ 1800 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.0 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 182 g/km

DRIVELINE: Nine-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4841 mm
Wheelbase: 2873 mm
Width: 1860 mm
Height: 1457 mm
Turning Circle: Not supplied
Kerb Mass: 1700 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 66 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / Unlimited kilometres

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2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL ADDS EXCITEMENT

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2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL

2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL ADDS EXCITEMENT

The blacked-out grille on this Mustang Special pays respect to the original Mustang.

2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL

The blacked-out grille on this Mustang Special pays respect to the original Mustang.

Based on the 2022 Mustang GT fastback and convertible models, the latest California Special Appearance Package pays respect to the original version’s blacked-out grille, lower bodyside accent stripe and rear fender scoop.

The heritage-inspired GT/CS side stripe trademark traces from the front guards to the signature rear scoop. A California Special badge in Ebony Black and Race Red script decorates the bootlid, while the honeycomb grille with GT/CS badge provides a unique look.

A performance rear wing is available for the fastback model, while spoiler delete is standard for the California Special convertible.

The California Special wears new design five-spoke 19-inch painted machined wheels. Interior appointments include rich black Miko suede door trim inserts and suede-trimmed seats with the embossed “GT/CS” logo and red contrast stitching.

The instrument panel is finished in carbon hex aluminium with a signature California Special script badge on the passenger side.

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2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S

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2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S


By EWAN KENNEDY

BODY COPY
The German car makers are all very serious about the need to lower the emissions of greenhouse gases, so are working hard on reducing them by designing electric vehicles. As a high-performance marque Porsche is one of the leaders in the field.

Hence the introduction of the all-electric Taycan high-performance sedan – yes sedan, this is a four-door family car, not a two-door coupe.

Porsche tells us the name Taycan is composed of two terms of Turkic origin and can be roughly translated as “soul of a spirited young horse.” Porsche tells us its first fully-electric model will be: “lively, impetuous, vigorous, light-footed on long stretches without tiring, and free-spirited.”

Okay, this may sound like a bit of over-blown waffle to we down-to-earth Aussies, but once we drove it, we did tend to agree with the way the Porsche Taycan felt. See our comments on this in the Driving segment of this report.

STYLING
Taycan looks slightly odd at the front to my eyes, with its slightly bulbous “bonnet” and the vertical lines beside the headlights. Beauty is of course in the eyes of the beholder and others may love it.

I reckon the rear is much better from a styling point of view, with a swooping coupe-like tail and a large black sunroof which merges beautifully with the black glass of the rear window.

INTERIOR

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

There’s a very wide dash array, with three screens. The one in front of the driver is large and contains plenty of information on the Taycan’s state of play. The centre screen gives access to numerous features, including speed, current power consumption, distance to empty, navigation and temperature control.

The left screen is in front of the passenger and lets them keep an eye on the map to assist with navigation.

There more space inside than you might expect, partly due to the fact that it’s almost five metres long. There’s seating for four and those in the back won’t have to ask those in front of them to give up any of their space. However, tall people in the back might brush against the roof.

The front seats are heated and cooled and are nicely shaped to support without being too aggressive.

INFOTAINMENT
A 14-speaker Bose audio provides excellent output and we found it easy to adjust it to our preferences.

POWERTRAIN
There are two electric motors one at the front the other at the rear. The front has a 175kW/400Nm on the Turbo S, the rear provides up to 335kW and 550Nm when it’s over boosted to give even more grunt.

The range of the Turbo S is rated as 390 to 416 kilometres by Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure.

As a strong selling point the Taycan in Australia is that it comes with a free three-year Chargefox subscription.

SAFETY
Porsche Taycan was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP in 2019.

DRIVING

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

We have always enjoyed the way electric powered vehicles leap off the line and have tremendous torque – but the Taycan is something else again. Zero to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds!

The first time I did it my head was thumped back into the headrest and my neck felt strained. I didn’t make that mistake again, making sure it was against the headrest – thereby avoiding the neck strain and enjoying to the full the dragster-like performance.

Back when I was a young fella road testing high-performance cars in the 1970s anything under six seconds to 60mph (97 km/h) and quicker than 15 seconds for the quarter mile was the goal. And that need a large hot V8.

This electric Porsche is well under three seconds to 100 km/h, and single figures for the quarter mile. How times have changed.

On the road Taycan has clever electronics to assist cornering by feeding just the right torque front and rear and side to side. You can feel it happening but we didn’t have access to a race track to test it to the limits. Maybe some other time…

Comfort is good for a high-performance car and keep in mind that this is a four-door sedan not a two-door sports coupe. On some surfaces there a fair bit of tyre noise, on others it’s as peaceful as any upmarket mid-size luxury vehicle.

THE FIRST PORSCHE ELECTRIC CAR

Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton

Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton

The Taycan isn’t the first Porsche electric car. In 1898 Ferdinand Porsche designed the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton. The vehicle was powered by an octagonal electric motor with three to five horsepower. It had a top speed of 25 km/h.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Taycan RWD sedan: $156,300
Taycan 4S AWD sedan: $194,700
Taycan Turbo AWD sedan: $276,300
Taycan Turbo S AWD sedan: $345,800
Taycan Cross 4 Turismo: $176,600
Taycan Cross 4S Turismo: $205,300
Taycan Cross Turbo Turismo: $279,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Porsche dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Porsche Taycan electric four-door sedan)

ENGINE:
Capacity: Not applicable
Configuration: Not applicable
Maximum Power: 560 kW
Maximum Torque: 1050 Nm
Fuel Type: Not applicable
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): L/100km
CO2 Emissions: g/km

DRIVELINE: Two-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4963 mm
Wheelbase: 2900 mm
Width: 1966 mm
Height: 1378 mm
Turning Circle: Not supplied
Kerb Mass: 2295 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: Not applicable litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years / unlimited kilometres

RATINGS
Looks: 7/10
Performance: 10/10
Safety: 9/10
Thirst : 6/10 **
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 9/10
Value: 7/10

** Note that we have rated Thirst low because its range is well under that of a conventional car.

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KIA’S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

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KIA'S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

KIA’S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

By EWAN KENNEDY

Slim front bold tail are an indication of the future of all-electric Kias.

Kia’s first dedicated BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) has been subjected to Kia Australia’s rigorous Ride and Handling Program.

The company’s Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold, who has localised the ride of over 50 Kia models during the last 10 years, came away astonished by the performance of the EV6.

“I just love driving the Kia EV6, it’s a car that just wants corners. It is so engaging and so rewarding to drive.

“Personally, as a chassis dynamist, I think the biggest part of that enjoyment is the width of the battery in the car. A typical ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle has an engine and a drivetrain that has a high centre of gravity but it’s all in the centre of the vehicle therefore it works like a moment in roll. But with a dedicated BEV, it has a big flat battery in it, so it has to lift the energy on the inside to actually upset the car, creating a very flat roll dynamic. This makes the EV6 feel very light, nimble and responsive.”

KIA'S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold

“One of the things we are always tuning for in Australia is large body movements on country roads at 100 km/h and that is always manifested with a high centre of gravity roll dynamic in conventional cars. Electric cars don’t have as much of that, they have a lot of vertical movement, because of the weight but they don’t have the lateral roll, so we can use that as a bit of a tuning tool.” Graeme explained.

General Manager of Product at Kia Australia, Roland Rivero, is very proud of Kia Australia’s commitment to its Local Ride & Handling Program.

“Our local tuning program is part of our DNA and a key component to Kia’s success in Australia. We’ve aimed to inject a fun-to-drive character in our products, but most importantly give drivers the feeling of control and confidence when driving a Kia in a variety of conditions.” said Rivero.

Kia EV6 is the first dedicated Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’.

EV6 is the first of 11 new BEV models due from Kia arriving by 2026 with seven built on E-GMP architecture and four derivative EVs based on existing models.

2022 KIA EV6

Along with the EV6, the Concept EV9 represents the brand’s recent leadership in designing and developing desirable, high-tech, zero-emissions vehicles and recently set out its vision to become a truly sustainable, responsible, and innovative mobility solutions leader, announcing a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

Around 500 units of the EV6 have been earmarked for Australia during 2022 and the allocation will be staggered throughout the year. Kia Australia says it’s in continuous dialogue with head office about this number with hopes of increasing it.

The EV6 will be sold through the Kia dealer network and over 90 per cent of the Kia dealer network is currently set up to sell and service EV6.

Kia EV6 will initially be introduced in Australia with the long-range (77.4 kWh) high-voltage battery pack only and offered in two grades; base in rear-wheel drive only and GT-Line with RWD or all-wheel drive AWD options, the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions.

The performance ‘GT’ version of the EV6 with follow in late 2022 or early 2023.

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